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Gang plot Man involved in violent eviction with INLA thugs Declan Duffy and Dessie O'Hare to face sentence

Farrelly also assaulted a security guard in the incident

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Declan “Whacker” Duffy

Declan “Whacker” Duffy

Declan “Whacker” Duffy

A man will be sentenced later for his role in a violent forced eviction of a family who have since gone into the witness protection program.

Jonathon Farrelly (33) was part of a gang of seven men, including convicted murderer Declan Duffy and INLA kidnapper Dessie O'Hare, also known as “The Border Fox”, who falsely imprisoned and tried to evict a family from their home in June 2015.

Farrelly also took part in the assault of a security guard who became involved in the incident.

Sergeant Eamon O'Neill told Derek Cooney, prosecuting, that Martin Byrne had worked in the security industry for 25 years prior to the events.

Mr Byrne was employed as head of security of the Mansfield Group which ran various properties such as Citywest Hotel.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that five of the men involved, including O'Hare and Duffy, were convicted in the Special Criminal Court in 2019. The court heard that O'Hare and Duffy were “the ringleaders” of the events.

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Dessie O'Hare

Dessie O'Hare

Dessie O'Hare

Last month Jim Mansfield Junior was jailed by the Special Criminal Court for 18 months after it found the Mansfield had ordered the destruction of CCTV footage showing him with Mr Byrne on the morning of the kidnapping.

The court noted that Mansfield Jnr "stood and watched" as his employee was taken by the notorious criminals and "placed in great danger". He was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Mansfield (54) of Tasaggart House, Garters Lane, Saggart, Co Dublin was acquitted by the Special Criminal Court of a separate charge of conspiracy to falsely imprison Martin Byrne on a date unknown between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015.

Today Judge Orla Crowe adjourned Farrelly’s case having heard the evidence, to allow her time to consider the case. She remanded him in continuing custody until April 7 next for sentence.

Farrelly of The Square, Lucan, Co. Dublin, pleaded guilty to the false imprisonment of both Martin Byrne and his wife Lisa Byrne at The Towers, Garter Lane, Saggart, on June 9, 2015 and violent disorder on the same date.

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Jim Mansfield Jnr

Jim Mansfield Jnr

Jim Mansfield Jnr

He also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm of John Roche on the same date and at the same address. Farrelly has 22 previous convictions including 17 for road traffic offences, two for burglary and one for aggravated burglary.

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Sgt O'Neill said that on the date in question, Mr Byrne attended an office in which O'Hare was present. They were joined by Duffy and five more men arrived including Farrelly.

Mr Byrne was told by O'Hare that his services were no longer required and that he was to immediately vacate the property at Garter Lane where he had been residing with his family as part of his employment arrangement.

Mr Byrne said that if he was given 24 hours, he could move his family and his possessions out of the property, but this offer was rejected. He tried to leave of his own accord but he was surrounded, grabbed and bundled into a car by the men.

When they arrived at the property the security gates would not open and Mr Byrne was told he would be brought to “another place” if they did not open. Out of fear for his safety, Mr Byrne suggested driving through the gates, which they proceeded to do.

Mr Roche was working as a security guard at the scene and came to see who was at the gate. The group of men then began punching, kicking and stamping on him.

The court heard when they arrived at the home of Mr Byrne, his wife was still in her nightdress and was instructed to go upstairs and get changed. She was followed by some of the men, who watched while she got dressed.

Mr Byrne pleaded to let his family go, after which O'Hare made a remark to Ms Byrne along the lines of “say a prayer”. Mr Roche was picked up from the ground around this point and brought into one of the adjacent properties.

Mr Byrne was told to go into the same house where he observed Mr Roche in a chair covered in blood. He was told that Mr Roche would be dropped to a hospital when they were finished but that Mr Byrne would not need a hospital.

Mr Byrne was then pulled into a chair and struck several times to the head. Gardaí arrived at the scene and Mr Byrne was told by O'Hare if he did not get rid of them “he would get a bullet in the head”.

Mr Byrne attempted to tell gardaí that everything was okay, but they saw he was shaken and had injuries and that his family were in a distressed state. The seven men left and were arrested at later intervals.

A medical certificate submitted to court stated that Mr Roche sustained multiple injuries as a result of the assault, including fractures to his right forearm and his nasal bone. Mr Roche did not make a statement to gardaí.

The court heard that Mr Byrne and his family have been in the Witness Protection Programme since the events in June 2015.

Farrelly was linked back to a phone left behind in one of the vehicles left behind at the scene of the Byrne family home. He made no admissions during a subsequent garda interview.

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